Photo by Pratch Rujivanarom

[Laos] Survivors of dam collapse battle dengue, malnutrition

Six months after the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in southern Laos triggered floods that swept them from their homes, survivors are now suffering from dengue fever and malnutrition.

Those health challenges come despite firm agreements between local and international health agencies to work together to prevent disease and otherwise attend to the needs of the displaced.

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Hin Lath school, where Chang attended, was destroyed by the dam collapse. He now has to travel at least three hours return to attend school in the city / Credit: Visarut Sankham

[Laos] The deadly wave that changed everything

Flash floods following the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam in southern Laos washed away the homes, families, hope and dreams of dozens of villagers living downstream. This is one of their stories.

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A field of newly transplanted Virginia tobacco in Barangay Anei, Claveria, Misamis Oriental. The production of these plants plummeted to only a million kilograms in 2018 as only 336 farmers planted the crop in 436.21 hectares, down from 2.5 million in 2017 with 1,117 farmers who grew the variety in 1,387 hectares. Photo by LSReyes

[Philippines] Images of women absent from posters on safe tobacco growing

Researchers in a Brazil-based study in a tobacco-growing community pointed out that women are primary study subjects on the health and environmental impacts of tobacco production because of  “their role in tobacco production, combined with their essential role in caring for the family, especially related to health.’’

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[Philippines] Environment, health impacts awareness factor in tobacco production nosedive

Done in 2016, three years after tobacco’s commercial cultivation began here, the study, which profiled women farmers, including the knowledge, perceptions and practices of women working in tobacco farms in Claveria. Among its findings is that 90 percent of the women workers were aware of the health impacts of cultivating the plant.

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Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

[Thailand] Suspending Voice TV: ‘An attack on media freedom’ —Pakistan Press Foundation

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemns this step of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and termed it an attack on media freedom. PPF also urge the authorities and media regulator to lift the order of suspending broadcasts of Voice TV.

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Weekly Media Roundup (9 – 15 February 2019)

Some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week

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[Philippines] SEAPA, other groups issue joint statement of solidarity with Ressa and Rappler; call for all charges to be dropped

The news website, and its journalists, do not deserve to be persecuted. On the contrary, they must be lauded and allowed an enabling environment in which to carry out their work.

We call for all charges leveled against Maria Ressa and Rappler to be dropped, and call on President Rodrigo Duterte to restore genuine press freedom in the Philippines.

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Protesters against sand mining on the Ayeyarwady River in Shwedaung Township, Bago Region on Jan. 16, 2019. Photo: Thuya Zaw

[Myanmar] Ayeyarwady river at risk from rampant sand mining

Since 2010, a construction boom in Myanmar has fueled a sharp increase in the extraction of sand from the Ayeyarwady that is then used in cement and asphalt. Environmental groups say this dredging is destabilizing the river and placing stress on the Ayeyarwady Delta, the country’s main rice producing region. Experts warn that the rate of sand mining in the Ayeyarwady has already reached an unsustainable level and is projected to increase as development continues.

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[Philippines] Romancing storms, worms and leaves: Growing ‘batek’ in the shadow of environmental perils

The farmers continue to use insecticides whose active ingredients, Gold Star Daily has learned, are listed as hazardous by World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International. PAN uses the definition of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of hazardous pesticides as “those linked with a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment.”

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Rappler CEO Maria Ressa talks with the media after posting bail. | Photo by CMFR

[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa Posts Bail on Cyber Libel

Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa posted bail today, 14 February 2019, at Branch 46 of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection with a cyber libel charge over an article the online news site published in 2012.

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[Philippines] AJI Condemns the Arrest of Journalist Maria Ressa

Based on these new developments in the Philippines, AJI stated:

1. Condemning the arrest of Maria Ressa. This arrest was none other than an attempt to silence journalists and media who were critical to the government.

2. Expressing solidarity and support for Maria Ressa, Rappler and our colleagues in the Philippines, The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

3. Urging the Philippine government to respect democracy, protect the freedom of the press by stopping all kinds of intimidation and drop all charges against Maria Ressa.

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[Philippines] An Attack on One is an Attack on All

We call on the press and media community to condemn this outrage and to stand with Rappler. An attack on the freedom of one journalist or one news organization weakens the capacity of the entire institution to report the truth and is an attack on all of us and on democracy itself.

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[Philippines] Arrest of Maria Ressa is persecution by a bully government

Even as we are certain they will hold the line, we stand with Maria and our colleagues at Rappler and urge all colleagues who value the work we do and the independence essential to it to circle the wagons and resist this blatant assault on our right and liberties.

We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos to stand with the independent Philippine press in defense of the rights not only of media but of the people. For in suppressing the press it is the people’s right to know that is trampled on.

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[Philippines] Rappler’s Maria Ressa arrested for cyber libel

Journalist Maria Ressa was arrested Wednesday, 13 February 2019, for online libel by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) at Rappler’s office, in Pasig City. 

We will “cooperate with the authorities and try to post bail tonight,” Ressa said during the brief press conference held at Rappler’s office immediately after the arrest warrant was served.

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NUJP national chairperson Nonoy Espina and Negros Press Club president Boy Duran react on the “drug list” implicating local journalists in Bacolod City.

[Philippines] Negros media up in arms over ‘drug list’

The media community in the central Philippine province of Negros Occidental was up in arms following the circulation since late last week of at least three lists of purported “drug protectors” that included at least 15 of their colleagues.

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Photo from the Facebook of Sirote Klampaiboon, Voice TV news host

[Thailand] Voice TV shutdown yet another assault on press freedom —SEAPA

Such perceived risk is unwarranted and could only be construed as yet another unmistakable curtailment of press freedom by the ruling junta. At a time when Thailand is on the cusp of a new election that has been put off countless times, much to the frustration of a nation that has grown weary of military rule, the NBTC’s order could not have sent off a stronger signal. That is, the state will not countenance media outfits, who, in asserting their fundamental right to inform and engage the public in meaningful discussions of important issues, dare cross the former’s path. 

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Weekly Media Roundup (2 – 8 February 2019)

Some of the press freedom- and free expression-related events and issues you might have missed last week

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Photo from Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI, Alliance of Independent Journalists)

[Indonesia] President Jokowi revokes commutation of death sentence for convicted journalist killer (UPDATED)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has revoked his grant of remission to convicted mastermind in the killing of Radar Bali journalist Anak Agung Bagus Narendra Prabangsa, Jakarta Post reported on 9 February 2019. 

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